Jamal Edwards, the 25-year-old entrepreneur behind popular YouTube music channel SBTV, could be joining Apple Music.
Business Insider asked Edwards during an interview whether Apple had approached him about joining its new music streaming and radio venture. Edwards replied: “No comment. I can’t speak on it. I can’t say anything, I’ve signed a strict NDA [non-disclosure agreement].”
That seems to suggest that Edwards is at least in conversation with Apple about joining the service.
Edwards also spoke more generally about Apple Music, saying: “I don’t know what to think about it. I think it’s exciting and I’m excited to see what they do. Apple’s a beast man. I’m just intrigued to see what happens in the next couple of weeks.”
Apple has already signed up a prominent figure in London’s urban music scene. Julie Adenuga will host the UK section of Apple’s Beats 1 radio station, alongside DJs Zane Lowe in Los Angeles and Ebro Darden in New York.
Apple’s also working with well-known musicians to bring their voices to the platform. But Edwards’ comment suggests that Apple could also be expanding its network of presenters, potentially even introducing video content on its “Connect” social platform.
Edwards was one of the UK’s earliest YouTube stars, starting his urban music channel SBTV on the site in 2006 when he was a teenager. The channel, which has just over 500,000 subscribers, is credited with helping the revival of grime and British rap music. Artists like Dizzee Rascal, Wiley and Tinchy Stryder all appearing on the channel early in their careers.
SBTV, which recently passed 300 million views on YouTube, has more recently branched out beyond urban music, featuring pop stars like Ed Sheeran, Pixie Lott and Jessie J early in their careers. Edwards has also interviewed everyone from film director Spike Lee to advertising heavyweight Sir Martin Sorrell and even Prime Minister David Cameron.
Fans of Edwards include Sir Richard Branson. He was made an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List last year.